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'Bantam' bicycle with crypto epicyclic gear to front hub, c 1893.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Introduced in 1893 by the Crypto Cycle Company, the Bantam bicycle with its two speed crypto gearing mechanism within the front wheel hub, was designed for those who could not come to terms with low, rear-wheel driven safety bicycles. It was effectively a development of the ordinary bicycle, or penny-farthing. The crypto gearing on the front wheel hub meant that for each revolution of the crank, the wheel made 2 3/4 turns.
Exton, David
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